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H.R.5274 - Global Electoral Exchange Act

Congress member and Representative Joaquin Castro speaking at an event.

To promote international exchanges on best election practices, cultivate more secure democratic institutions around the world, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
► You believe that Congress should establish an exchange program between the United States and foreign countries with the purpose of sharing sound election administration practices.

You might oppose this bill if:
► You believe the establishment of a program that shares electoral information with foreign countries might be used in a manner not originally intended by the legislation.

See a video of Rep. Castro defending his bill on the House floor.

09/05/18 UPDATE: The Global Electorate Exchange Act passed the House on September 5th, 2018, and has now been received in the Senate.

The Global Electoral Exchange Act would establish exchange programs with other countries, administered by the State Department, for individuals involved in the conduct of elections. More specifically, it would create the Global Electoral Exchange Program which would provide grants for programs that promote the utilization of sound election administration practices in the United States and foreign countries.

Grants would be provided to organizations that help design and implement programs bringing election administrators, including government officials, polling workers, civil society representatives, members of the judiciary, and others who participate in the organization and administration of an election in a foreign country to study election procedures in the United States and abroad for educational purposes.

The legislation sets clear limits on the Global Electorate Exchange Program by not allowing it to observe for the purposes of discussing the validity or legitimacy of an election or facilitating any type of advocacy for a certain electoral result.

The Secretary of State is to maintain a publicly available website detailing the program, including a list of grants awarded and the amount awarded in each grant. An annual report must also be made including a summary of all exchanges conducted under the Global Electoral Exchange Program, including criteria used to select grantees, and a summary of all agreements made with other States and local governments.

“In the last decade we’ve seen democracies around the world in retreat, including some in our own backyard. This is in contrast to prior years. In countries around the world, democracy activists and well intentioned leaders strive to create more inclusive societies but face significant challenges, including lack of institutional knowledge of electoral processes,” said Representative Joaquin, sponsor of the legislation.

“When we bring folks over here to show them how we do things and send Americans to other countries to see how elections are conducted overseas, we can have candid conversations on how all of us can improve these processes. These educational programs would benefit both societies abroad, keyed on democratizing, and our own states and cities right here in the United States.”


Sponsored by: Rep. Castro, Joaquin [D-TX-20].

Cosponsored by: 3 Rep / 6 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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